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Plants as Antiviral Agents

Hoda MA Waziri

Viruses are microorganisms that infect all kinds of living organisms including plants, and cause remarkable lose in crop production. Although pesticides showed that they can protect plants from pest infections, there are no effective substances that can be used as potent virucides. Therefore, there is a continuous demand to produce chemicals in order to stop and cure viral infections in plants. However, toxicity and carcinogenicity issues were always attributed to chemical pesticides. Screening of natural products shined in the dark to find new safe virucides. The philosophy of selecting those plants is oriented towards plants that can protect themselves from viral infections. Plants have been reported as virus inhibitors and are able to prevent infection of viruses by inducing systemic resistance in noninfested parts of the plants, such as Boerhaavia diffusa, Clerodendrum aculeatum. Other plants defend themselves against virus infections; these plants contain ribosome inactivating proteins [RIPs], such as Phytolacca Americana, Mirabilis jalapa, Dianthus caryophullus. The methods used for extraction, separation, identification of those antiviral compounds are documented and discussed in this review